100 books like Happiness

By Matthieu Ricard,

Here are 100 books that Happiness fans have personally recommended if you like Happiness. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Stumbling on Happiness

Victor Haghani Author Of The Missing Billionaires: A Guide to Better Financial Decisions

From my list on intelligent financial decision-making in less than 200 pages.

Who am I?

I have over four decades of experience working and innovating in the financial markets and have been a prolific contributor to academic and practitioner finance literature. I started my career at Salomon Brothers in 1984, where I became a managing director in the bond-arbitrage group, and in 1993 I was a co-founding partner of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management. I founded Elm Wealth in 2011 to help clients, including my own family, manage and preserve their wealth with a thoughtful, research-based, and cost-effective approach that covers not just investment management but also broader decisions about wealth and finances.

Victor's book list on intelligent financial decision-making in less than 200 pages

Victor Haghani Why did Victor love this book?

Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert uses wit and science to reveal how we generally fail to predict what makes us happy and how we can do better.

I loved his discussions of why lottery winners aren't happier for long, how our memories create a "rosy past" illusion, and even why bad experiences can sometimes be better than good ones.

I loved the engaging stories and insightful experiments that Gilbert uses to dismantle common assumptions about happiness and offers fresh perspectives. I gained self-awareness and discovered unexpected paths to finding and savoring happiness.

Strap in for a thought-provoking journey that may just change how you view your own happiness and that of others-all with a healthy dose of humor.

By Daniel Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Stumbling on Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bringing to life scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, this bestselling book reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there. 

• Why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink?

• Why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight?

• Why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they…


Book cover of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Paul J. Zak Author Of Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness

From my list on happiness that will improve your life.

Who am I?

In my view, there is no bigger quest than to understand how to live a long and fulfilled life. Most of my professional life has focused on running neuroscience experiments in my academic laboratory and developing technologies for companies I have started to understand and increase happiness. I have devoted 20 years to this quest and I continue to work to build a happier and healthier world. I am one of the most cited scientists in this area and also regularly communicate to the general public through TED talks, books, magazine articles, and public lectures.    

Paul's book list on happiness that will improve your life

Paul J. Zak Why did Paul love this book?

The USA is unique in that our Declaration of Independence identifies the happiness of citizens as a goal when organizing the country. The Geography of Bliss asks why all countries are not similarly organized. This book is a fun romp as the author visits different countries that have radically different happiness levels and seeks to find out why. A key finding from the book is that a rich cultural life increases happiness. This is consistent with my research that has shown its connections to, and experiences with, other people that account for most differences in happiness. This book made me think about what communities can do to foster social connections that drive up happiness levels. 

By Eric Weiner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Geography of Bliss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes a nation happy? Is one country's sense of happiness the same as another's? In the last two decades, psychologists and economists have learned a lot about who's happy and who isn't. The Dutch are, the Romanians aren't, and Americans are somewhere in between...

After years of going to the world's least happy countries, Eric Weiner, a veteran foreign correspondent, decided to travel and evaluate each country's different sense of happiness and discover the nation that seemed happiest of all.

*He discovers the relationship between money and happiness in tiny and extremely wealthy Qatar (and it's not a good…


Book cover of The Vedantic Self and the Jungian Psyche

Tushar Choksi Author Of Significance and Means of Self-Knowledge

From my list on well-being and self-knowledge.

Who am I?

Tushar Choksi is a sincere seeker of the reality of human experience since his childhood days. Due to the undercurrent force of spirituality and the desire to be a good human, he practiced meditation and studied Vedantic scriptures for more than twenty-five years. During his life, he studied in-depth and participated in various activities based on the Vedantic tradition. One major activity he has been part of for most of his life is the activity of Swadhyay inspired by Pujya Padurang Shastri Athavale. He was also engrossed in the teachings of Ramkrishna and Vivekananda and the tradition of Arsha Vidya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Currently, Tushar conducts classes on Vedanta (non-duality), and continues his study of Vedanta. 

Tushar's book list on well-being and self-knowledge

Tushar Choksi Why did Tushar love this book?

This book explores the healing capacity of the disciplines of Vedanta and Jungian Psyche for a human being. It describes how the emotional well-being and non-dual wholeness of a human being can be achieved.  The author emphasizes when using Vedanta that the lack of differentiation of self from the mind and the world creates our suffering. Therefore, the solution to our problems lies in self-knowledge only. The degree of identification of self with the non-self is causing one to suffer to that degree. All human beings seek love. When we discover the Vedantic self as the source of love then the search for wholeness completes. When we know that the self of others is myself, then we reach the supreme level of intimacy and know others in truth.

By Dr. Carol Whitfield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Vedantic Self and the Jungian Psyche as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Psychological theories are based on the experiences of the one constructing the theory. If the Vedantic Self becomes a differentiated component of one's experience, then it will naturally weave its way into one's psychological model of the mind.... New knowledge affects the old. Such has always been the case. As we go on learning and differentiating our experience, our theories change to accomodate our growth. In this case, if the existence of the Vedantic Self is differentiated from the psyche, then new knowledge is produced in that act of differentiation which then must be accounted for in the formulation of…


Book cover of Need for Cognitive Change

Tushar Choksi Author Of Significance and Means of Self-Knowledge

From my list on well-being and self-knowledge.

Who am I?

Tushar Choksi is a sincere seeker of the reality of human experience since his childhood days. Due to the undercurrent force of spirituality and the desire to be a good human, he practiced meditation and studied Vedantic scriptures for more than twenty-five years. During his life, he studied in-depth and participated in various activities based on the Vedantic tradition. One major activity he has been part of for most of his life is the activity of Swadhyay inspired by Pujya Padurang Shastri Athavale. He was also engrossed in the teachings of Ramkrishna and Vivekananda and the tradition of Arsha Vidya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Currently, Tushar conducts classes on Vedanta (non-duality), and continues his study of Vedanta. 

Tushar's book list on well-being and self-knowledge

Tushar Choksi Why did Tushar love this book?

The book clearly states that cognitive change is required to ensure our well-being. Cognitive change is a change in our outlook on ourselves, God, and the outside world. we need to change from within to face ourselves. Vedanta leads to cognitive change in the fundamental way we look at ourselves and the world. Anger is an expression of the unconscious of a human being. Anger must be managed with a better understanding that it is within the universal psychological order. Because a human being is self-conscious, he finds himself as a person who is lacking and always strives to complete himself through various achievements, relations, and objects. The constant urge to be free from all limitations and lack lies in the self-knowledge that “I am happiness itself”.

By Swami Dayananda Saraswati,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Need for Cognitive Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I do not believe that anyone can be happy in today's world without Vedanta. It is not possible because our society is born of competition, nurtured in competition. The competition starts from the cradle! Naturally, our lot is very complex. There is a need for a cognitive change. We need Vedanta to be sane and we have to solve the problem fundamentally. That is the only way; there is no other way. Humanity has driven itself into a corner from where it has no other solution except to know ' I am the whole. ' It is what Vedanta is."…


Book cover of The Message of the Upanisads

Tushar Choksi Author Of Significance and Means of Self-Knowledge

From my list on well-being and self-knowledge.

Who am I?

Tushar Choksi is a sincere seeker of the reality of human experience since his childhood days. Due to the undercurrent force of spirituality and the desire to be a good human, he practiced meditation and studied Vedantic scriptures for more than twenty-five years. During his life, he studied in-depth and participated in various activities based on the Vedantic tradition. One major activity he has been part of for most of his life is the activity of Swadhyay inspired by Pujya Padurang Shastri Athavale. He was also engrossed in the teachings of Ramkrishna and Vivekananda and the tradition of Arsha Vidya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Currently, Tushar conducts classes on Vedanta (non-duality), and continues his study of Vedanta. 

Tushar's book list on well-being and self-knowledge

Tushar Choksi Why did Tushar love this book?

The author declares that man must be educated in the knowledge of his own divine nature. This self-knowledge is not of our separate ego-natures but of the oneself which is the self of all. We should strive to realize both the delights of social existence and the fulfillment through the spiritual realization of the self. Clinging to the shadows of the sensate experience, taking them to be the whole of reality, man ignores the infinite and immortal dimension of his personality. This is spiritual suicide and man is submerged in the objects of experience and his real self is enveloped in the darkness of despair and suffering.  The man should deepen his awareness of his little self (ego) and realize it as the Atman, ever free, self-luminous, eternal, and pure.

By Swami Ranganathananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Message of the Upanisads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book is a compilatioon of the lectures delivered by Swami Ranganathananda at the Calcutta Ashram and other places.The charm and power of the Upanisads can best be admired by the readers.


Book cover of The Art of Peace and Happiness

Tushar Choksi Author Of Significance and Means of Self-Knowledge

From my list on well-being and self-knowledge.

Who am I?

Tushar Choksi is a sincere seeker of the reality of human experience since his childhood days. Due to the undercurrent force of spirituality and the desire to be a good human, he practiced meditation and studied Vedantic scriptures for more than twenty-five years. During his life, he studied in-depth and participated in various activities based on the Vedantic tradition. One major activity he has been part of for most of his life is the activity of Swadhyay inspired by Pujya Padurang Shastri Athavale. He was also engrossed in the teachings of Ramkrishna and Vivekananda and the tradition of Arsha Vidya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Currently, Tushar conducts classes on Vedanta (non-duality), and continues his study of Vedanta. 

Tushar's book list on well-being and self-knowledge

Tushar Choksi Why did Tushar love this book?

This book describes in detail with extreme clarity that knowing our true being is peace, happiness, and love. Our true self is always present consciousness which knows the mind, body, and the world. The belief in the existence of a separate inner self and an external world obscures our true nature. With the veiling of our true nature, an imaginary self that is limited and situated in the mind-body is seemingly created and the search for happiness in the outside world begins. Suffering is the veiling of one's true nature or happiness, not the lack of happiness. After the dissolution of the separate self that we think and feel to be, happiness and love shine forth. Peace and happiness are not the states of body and mind, but inherent to our real nature.

By Rupert Spira,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Peace and Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your self, aware presence, knows no resistance to any appearance and, as such, is happiness itself; like the empty space of a room, it cannot be disturbed and is, therefore, peace itself; like this page, it is intimately one with whatever appears on it and is thus love itself; and like water that is not affected by the shape of a wave, it is pure freedom. Causeless joy, imperturbable peace, love that knows no opposite, and freedom at the heart of all experience...this is your ever-present nature under all circumstances.

Our self, aware presence, knows no resistance to any appearance…


Book cover of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

Edward D. Hess Author Of Own Your Work Journey! The Path to Meaningful Work and Happiness in the Age of Smart Technology and Radical Change

From my list on helping you become your best self.

Who am I?

My entire academic life of over 20 years has been focused on how to help people and organizations become their Best Self. I am the author of 15 books. Six of my books were published by Academic Presses: Cambridge University Press; Stanford University Press; and Columbia Business School Publishing. My work has appeared in over 400 global media publications including Fortune magazine, European Business Review, HBR, SHRM, Fast Company, WIRED, Forbes, INC., Huffington Post, Washington Post, Business Week, the Financial Times, CEO World as well as on CNBC Squawk Box, Fox Business News, Big Think, WSJ Radio, Bloomberg Radio with Kathleen Hayes, Dow Jones Radio, MSNBC Radio, Business Insider, and Wharton Radio.

Edward's book list on helping you become your best self

Edward D. Hess Why did Edward love this book?

This is a unique book in that it integrates the learnings from the great philosophies and religions with modern science to create a powerful story of how you and I can live a happy and a meaningful life.

The Author takes you on a great journey illuminating how our thinking and how our mind and body influence our beliefs and ways of being. He puts together a compelling new story that you can embrace to be on your Journey to Best Self. This book was so good that I have read it three times since I bought it.

By Jonathan Haidt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Happiness Hypothesis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world's philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims-like Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, or What doesn't kill you makes you stronger-can enrich and even transform our lives.


Book cover of Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way

Paul J. Zak Author Of Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness

From my list on happiness that will improve your life.

Who am I?

In my view, there is no bigger quest than to understand how to live a long and fulfilled life. Most of my professional life has focused on running neuroscience experiments in my academic laboratory and developing technologies for companies I have started to understand and increase happiness. I have devoted 20 years to this quest and I continue to work to build a happier and healthier world. I am one of the most cited scientists in this area and also regularly communicate to the general public through TED talks, books, magazine articles, and public lectures.    

Paul's book list on happiness that will improve your life

Paul J. Zak Why did Paul love this book?

This book asks if those who live the longest are also the happiest. The short answer is sometimes...and that is what makes this book interesting. Part travelog, part science, this book connects happiness to the quality and length of life and argues that connections to others and a rich social life are what allow people to flourish with long and happy lives. I was surprised by the contribution of diet and exercise to one's happiness and while I'm already committed to a healthy diet and consistent exercise, these findings lead me to include these factors in my own research on happiness. One mystery the book does not solve (but my research has contributed to), is why those who are old tend to be quite happy even when they have lost spouses, friends, and children. The causation appears to be bidirectional between the biological basis for happiness and life circumstances. 

By Dan Buettner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thrive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes us happy? It's not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world's happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives. Working with leading researchers, Buettner identifies the happiest region on each of four continents. He explores why these populations say they are happier than anyone else, and what they can teach the rest of us about finding contentment. His conclusions debunk some commonly believed myths: Are people who have…


Book cover of When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Christine Christman Author Of Do You Want to Be Well? A Memoir of Spiritual Healing

From my list on grief and spirituality.

Who am I?

As I formed my self-identity I considered myself a spiritual seeker, always straying beyond the boundaries of my more conservative Christian communities. As a minister’s wife, I had a wide experience of Christian-based faith and community. When my husband died instantly of a heart attack, my entire spiritual foundation seemed to crumble. This book is a memoir of my journey to rebuild a new spirituality, founded on the remnants of my original faith and expanding to meet my new and changing experience of who I am. I have a master’s degree in English so the study of literature, mythology, and poetry also strongly influenced my journey, my story, and this memoir.

Christine's book list on grief and spirituality

Christine Christman Why did Christine love this book?

I learned in my grief that the experience of loss can open the door wide for personal growth and transformation. Pema Chodron’s book brings the possibility of gentle healing through the lens of Buddhist practice. After the first year of loss, as I was beginning to regain some stability, this book helped me find my way into new spiritual practices. I used it to expand beyond old beliefs that no longer served me and into new ways of thinking and being. It grounded me in the context of suffering, helping me to see that I wasn’t alone; that suffering was nothing to be ashamed of. And her stories offered some practical ideas that I hadn’t found in my Christian spiritual practice.

By Pema Chödrön,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked When Things Fall Apart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pema Choedroen reveals the vast potential for happiness, wisdom and courage even in the most painful circumstances.

Pema Choedroen teaches that there is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it - ironically, while we are caught up in attempt to escape pain and suffering.

This accessible guide to compassionate living shows us how we can use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion and courage, ways of communication that lead to openness and true intimacy with others, practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns, methods for working with chaotic situations and ways to cultivate…


Book cover of The Making of Buddhist Modernism

Patrick Ussher Author Of Stoicism & Western Buddhism: A Reflection on Two Philosophical Ways of Life

From my list on modern-day adaptations of Buddhism and Stoicism.

Who am I?

I’ve long been interested in what different traditions have to say about how to live our best lives. While a graduate student, I naturally drifted towards studying both Stoicism and Buddhism and wrote my MA dissertation on a comparison of both (which ultimately, much later, became the basis for my book). During my time as a Ph.D. student, I was actively involved in the Modern Stoicism project. As well as running the blog for the project, I was also involved, along with a team of academics and psychotherapists, in creating adaptations of that ancient philosophy for the modern world. I also draw on both philosophies in coping with chronic illness.

Patrick's book list on modern-day adaptations of Buddhism and Stoicism

Patrick Ussher Why did Patrick love this book?

McMahon’s book was a real opener for me as a practising Buddhist in my early 20s.

I’d always naturally assumed that the Buddhism I practised was essentially the same as the Buddhism of any other time and place. McMahon’s penetrating analysis of the differences between ancient and ‘Western’ Buddhism shattered that illusion, showing me that the Buddhism I followed was mainly the product of Buddhism’s encounter with the modern, Western world.

I deeply valued the doors McMahon opened for me: suddenly, I could take a much larger view of the Buddhist tradition, and I also came to realize how the various manifestations of philosophies and religions are interesting not just for what they teach but also because of what they can reveal about the societies that practise them.

By David L. McMahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Making of Buddhist Modernism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, David McMahan offers the first comprehensive attempt to chart the development of "modern Buddhism." His position is critical but empathetic: while he presents modern Buddhism as a construction of numerous parties with varying interests, he does not reduce it to a mistake, a misrepresentation, or a fabrication. Rather, he presents modern Buddhism as a complex historical process constituted by a variety of responses - sometimes trivial, often profound - to some of the most important concerns of the modern era.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Buddhism, happiness, and Tibetan Buddhism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Buddhism, happiness, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Buddhism Explore 265 books about Buddhism
Happiness Explore 305 books about happiness
Tibetan Buddhism Explore 20 books about Tibetan Buddhism